Families of Israeli Terror Victims Express Outrage at Proposed Release of Palestinian Terrorists for Peace Talks

July 23, 2013 11:49 am 13 comments

Israeli victims of Arab terror. Photo: Almagor.

Expected concessions on the part of Israel aimed at inducing the Palestinian Authority to enter into peace talks are rankling many in the Jewish State.

Israel has reportedly agreed to release at least 82 Palestinian convicts held since before the Oslo Peace Accords in 1993. Many of the prisoners were jailed for violent crimes, and the families of their victims, as well as the family’s of others murdered in the interim, are voicing their displeasure at the prospect of the prisoners going free.

“This is a humiliation to the families who lost their loved ones and a victory for the terrorists,” Shay Odesser, whose father Mordechai and uncle Shlomo were killed in 2002 by Arab gunmen in the West Bank, told The Algemeiner. “Terrorists should be in jail for the rest of their life with no option to get out.”

Arnold Roth, whose 15-year-old daughter Malki was killed in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem in 2001, was also irked by the report.

“Clearly this is not about making a calculated assessment of risk to Israelis versus reward to Israelis but something far more political, and therefore dangerous,” he told The Algemeiner.

“It’s tempting to quote the famous aphorism attributed to Einstein that defines insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Tempting, but not entirely accurate since it’s not clear to me that the authorities have any clear expectations when they decide to let unrepentant killers of Israelis out of prison. It’s an entirely political process dressed up as something else,” Roth said.

According to Israeli media reports, most of the criminals slated for release are 40 or older, and are serving long-term jail sentences – over two decades – without privileges such as conjugal visits or vacations. The list of convicts was presented by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to Israel through US Secretary of State John Kerry. According to Abbas, their release was promised to him in the days of former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

An official Israeli source claimed that the prisoners who are on the list are not a security threat in any way, i24 News reported.

But Roth, for one, challenged the premise.

“All the talk of them being old, ill, retired and perhaps anxious to get out there to play with great-grandchildren while there’s still energy in those old bones belies what’s actually happening,” he said.

Ron Kehrmann, whose 17-year old daughter, Tal, was killed along with 16 other people by an Arab suicide bomber on a Haifa bus on March 5, 2003 believes that the release will not only embolden future terrorists, but that it hurts any chance at a real, lasting peace.

“This undermines any incentive to find a solution for the conflict. If this was to be the reward after signing the (peace) agreement, I would not bless this action but I would be able to understand the reasoning for the release,” he told The Algemeiner.

Jacob Kimchy, who lost his father Rami in a terrorist attack on the Sheffield Club in Rishon Lezion in 2002, said that the release of the prisoners destroys any sense of justice that might help console the loved ones of terror victims.

“We want to believe that we live in a world of justice but we see the leaders of the world—Obama, Netanyahu—talk about releasing murderers. What justice do we have in the world? It’s crazy,” Kimchy said.

Kimchy, who founded One Heart, an organization that helps the families of terror victims, and who is the founding editor of TLV Faces, said that many of the people who lost family or friends in terrorist attacks oppose the move.

“It’s very very hard. They are all against it. As one of my friends said, ‘I can’t sleep at night and it makes my days very dark.’ Working with people through One Heart, people who lost loved ones to terror, you try to lift them up but news like this just destroys you.”

Roth echoes the sentiment: “Even if peace comes crashing in through the front door as a result of this latest round of unjust prisoner releases, what are we doing to basic notions of justice?” he asks.

Kehrmann acknowledges that prisoner releases and exchanges are not a new aspect of the conflict, but he says that such strategies have proven pointless.

“A release for murderers is immoral, against any value of a healthy society and never promoted peace, on the contrary it always fueled more aggressive actions.”

Israeli officials have indicated that the prisoners will be freed in phases, beginning 4-6 weeks into the negotiations, and continuing  at 6-8 week intervals. Under Israeli law, prisoners’ names will be published 48 hours before their release to allow families of their victims to appeal the decision in the Supreme Court.

Sapir Hazut, 20, daughter of Daniel Hazut, who was killed by terrorists 20 years ago in a  shooting at a junction in Wadi Ara while working as a traffic policeman, told The Times of Israel she found it difficult to understand the prisoners’ release: “In the Shalit deal, my mother and I supported the release of my father’s murderers, because the life of a soldier was on the line.”

“But demanding to release these terrorists is without any purpose, since pardoning terrorists with blood on their hands completely contradicts the desire for peace,” Hazut said. “You don’t make peace with murderers. We must examine ourselves as a society if we forgive murder.”

13 Comments

  • How can we be so foolish as to put our trust in murderers? Why do we sit down and “talk” with those who have sworn to kill ALL Jews? What do WE gain from such talks…PEACE? DON’T BE NAIVE!! Promises…promises…”Peace In Our Time”…remember that?…Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s report to Britainand the world, after his talk with Hitler. “Everything is going to be just fine”. Germany then embarked on World War II and killed millions of civilians, soldiers, over the next FIVE YEARS OF WAR!

    WHEN WILL WE EVER LEARN??????

  • Does anyone remember Wafa al-Biss (or Bas), a Palestinian woman who suffered severe burns in a domestic cooking incident and was taken to an Israeli hospital (Sokota). She was treated and given a new life. She was discharged from the hospital with a licence to return for out-patient treatment.
    Four months after her discharge, she was caught at a checkpoint and found to be wearing a huge bomb strapped to her leg. She told interrogators that she had been sent to blow herself up among the doctors and nurses who had treated her, and among as many children as possible. She spent two or three years in prison, but was released as part of the exchange for Gilad Shalit. The first thing she did on her release was to go home and hold an impromptu (but surely staged) meeting with some Palestinian schoolchildren, who she encouraged to follow her example and to become martyrs. She is in a real sense insane, but we let her out. Why?

  • Vivienne Leijonhufvud

    It is a pity the death penalty was not instituted from Terrorist crimes both in Israel and elsewhere. Terrorists are willing to commit suicide for their cause therefore the death penalty is just another way to become Martyrs. No killer either male or female should be released if the crime is murder of individuals of citizens en-mass within any nation. Two of Britain’s most notorious killers have been inside for fifty years. This is life, they will die in prison and will be buried in prison grounds. This is the treatment for terrorist. ABBA is blackmailing Israel, no sooner are these criminals out, the 60,000 rockets hoarded in Gaza will continue to be fired on Southern Israel. There can be no peace while there are two states in Israel, Kerry cannot force either Israel or ABBAS to enter into peace talks, as for the EU it has enough financial problems and needs to keep it’s nose out of Israeli business. My personal view is dump the Peace now and for good, cease fire agreements have been broken by Gaza many times since November. Egypt is in turmoil as is Syria, Iran is eyeing Saudi and Saudi is eyeing Iran. No Deal period with anyone, let ABBAS rant and rave and ignore EU. Renegotiate aide from a consortium of other world economies and the US cannot treat Israel like the 52nd State of the US.

  • It’s time for a little political jujitsu:

    Israel should agree to free prisoners who are prepared to state publicly, in Arabic, that they were wrong to murder Jews and if freed will do their best to promote peace between their people and the Jews.

    Getting someone with street cred to make such a declaration has been a key stumbling block to successful negotiations, and prisoners have such credibility. Kerry couldn’t reject such a condition without acknowledging that his effort isn’t one to promote peace.

    • sarebbe una bella cosa che questi assassini promettessero di non essere più assassini,ma purtroppo il corano insegna a mentire agli infedeli,perciò ogni promessa fatta da questi terroristi non ha nessun valore.assassini terroristi erano e tali resteranno.

      “would be a good thing that these murderers would promise not to be murderers, but unfortunately the Koran teaches to lie to the infidels, so every promise made by these terrorists has no value, assassins, terrorists were and remain such.”

  • A frequent term used in Chasidic Philosophy to describe the chain-reaction of creation is “Sof maaseh b`machshava techilah”, meaning that the final act was contained in the initial thought.
    Two symptoms consistently shown by victims (of Complex Trauma), is that they constantly re-enact their trauma via unconsciously participating in a dance with their predators.
    And two dynamics that predict the adverse outcome is surrendering to the predator the “power-dynamic”, and the “narrative”.
    The narrative created by the Israelis themselves was quickly seized by the Western world, who would apply that language until it became a reality.
    The term “Occupied West Bank” became the myth that would eventually allow Israel to checkmate itself.
    Historical truths, based on factual events are irrelevant to any blood libel.Since when did the fact that blood is treif and not used to bake Matzah function as a deterrent to the annual Passover pogroms ?
    When the Balfour Declaration was ratified by the League of Nations in 1923 and Israel was declared the Jewish Homeland, this included a large chunk of Jordan and Lebanon. Having defeated the Muslim-dominated Ottoman- Empire in 1918, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine were drawn into existence on the map. While bequeathed as independent States, these countries retained their colonial presence culturally,economically, and militarily. (Syria and Lebanon remained allied with France, and Jordan and Palestine with Great Britain).
    In the 1948 War of Independence, Israel was defeated on its eastern frontier by the British Legion who armed, trained, and occupied the West Bank, driving the Jewish community (who were the major inhabitants of Jerusalem since the destruction of the Temple).
    So the only occupying force on the West bank were the British. One could call the British “occupiers” because they drove the Jewish population out from the area that had been delegated to the Jewish State by the Balfour Declaration made by the British themselves, even though this was also later ratified as legally Jewish by the League of Nations.
    That was until 1967, when Israel liberated Judea,including Jerusalem from Jordan in the “Six-Day-War”.
    Lacking any real predator at that point, became a problem for the “Collective Conscience” of this victim-nation – the wandering Jew.
    Hence the creation of a mythical nation (who didn’t yet even exist)whose land we occupied no-where except in our own minds.
    But for those gentile nations who colluded with the Holocaust (which they all did), this narrative was a gift served on a gold-platter.
    And since we were now the architects of this fiction, the onus fell on us to deliver.

  • Luigi Rosolin

    The release of killer is not right, they had and will operate to attack again and possible kill.
    If them had not repent they should not release for peace talk. Peace talk don’t need to be precede by favor that are harming one side. Said no.

  • I have to think that the reason they’re doing this is because they know it will never happen. That, for instance, Israel will attack Iran in the next few weeks, which would cancel the peace talks. We know Israel has to attack Iran, and that obviously no one else in the West is going to help. And it would be better to do it before Obama gives the Syrian terrorists any more weapons.

  • benjamin assil

    Mr nataniyaho Hello , stop.. Are you sure by release this murderer we have the peace at hand , Just don’t say yes to me because i 100% don’t be leave it. Will we get the prisoner back if you don’t agree with Palestinian demand. Why not to agree freedom of terrorist upon the conclusion of peace agreement in a good fait

  • Terrorists who are captured after committing murders should NEVER be released under ANY circumstances! Not only is it a totally useless act if you are considering making peace, it is a monstrous injustice to the loved ones of those murdered Israelis. Frankly, I don’t give a damn if these terrorists never receive perks such as conjugal visits or anything else. If they were kept in solitary confinement for the rest of their lives, that would only approach receiving a just punishment for their crimes!

  • Michael Garfinkel

    An agreement of this nature suggests both weakness and dishonor.

    Nothing good can come of this, but irreparable harm will be done to victims’ families.

  • This action looks like a desperate and weak move . It is a huge mistake to enter the talks crawling on your knees .

    • You are absolutely correct. When are we going to learn that releasing prisoners get us zero, zip. We are always giving something and getting nothing in return. How smart are we when we know they want t kill us all. They will never recognize Israel. They have tld us this repeatedly.

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